The Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh remained shut for the second day on Wednesday over the demand for a bill in Parliament, for the formation of a separate Telangana state, with a 48 hour shutdown call evoking a total response.
Normal life was at a standstill in Hyderabad and nine other districts of the region as part of the shutdown called by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC).
Buses remained off the roads, while shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed across the region. Banks, ATMs, petrol bunks and cinema theatres were also shut.
With a section of auto rickshaw drivers here also joining the strike, railway passengers arriving in the city had a harrowing time.
Buses of state owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) remained inside the depots as thousands of RTC employees joined the protests for a separate state. RTC suffered a loss of Rs 6 crore on the first day of the strike.
Police and paramilitary forces in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana were on alert, though the shutdown on the first day had largely remained peaceful.
More violent protests are likely in Osmania University, where pro Telangana students clashed with police on Monday and Tuesday.
Almost all the towns across the region are deserted as people voluntarily shut down businesses and joined the protests for Telangana state.
The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other pro Telangana parties and groups are participating in the strike while the Communist Party of India (CPI) is backing it.
Police arrested about 2,000 protestors, including JAC leader M. Kodandaram and TRS legislator Harish Rao on the first day.
Coal production in state owned Singareni Collieries Company remained affected for the second day. About 70,000 employees in 38 underground and 140 open cast mines spread over districts of Adilabad, Khammam, Karimnagar and Warangal went off work.
The shutdown has affected daily production of 1.8 lakh tonnes of coal worth Rs 28 crore.